Calgary, AB,

Man charged after targeting women working in the sex trade

The Calgary Police Service has charged one man in an investigation into the alleged kidnapping, drugging and sexual assault of multiple women from the Calgary area.

In March 2023, CPS began an operation after investigating several allegations that a man was targeting women who worked in the sex trade in Calgary. Between December 2021 and March 2023, at least three women were believed to have been approached by a man on 19 Avenue S.E., in Forest Lawn, where the women were then allegedly drugged, taken to a rural property east of the city, where they were physically and sexually assaulted.

On Thursday, April 6, 2023, with assistance from the RCMP, we executed a search warrant on a rural property, located on Vale View Road, Rocky View County, north of Willow View. Officers also took one man, a tenant of the property, into custody.

As a result, Richard Robert MANTHA, 59, of Rocky View County, is charged with:

-       one count of kidnapping

-       two counts of forcible confinement

-       two counts of administering a noxious thing

-       one count of sexual assault

-       two counts of sexual assault with a weapon

-       one count of sexual assault causing bodily harm

-       one count of assault with a weapon

-       two counts of uttering threats

-       one count of pointing a firearm

-       three outstanding warrants for sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm and fail to attend court.

MANTHA will next appear in court on Wednesday, April 12, 2023.

“Over the past several weeks, this investigation has evolved rapidly,” says Acting Staff Sergeant Shelby Stewart of the CPS District 4 General Investigations Unit. “We are grateful to the victims who have come forward and trusted us with this investigation and ask anyone else with information to contact police.”

Due to the cross-jurisdictional nature of these crimes, we have also been working closely with our partners in the RCMP. The search of the property is expected to be complete tomorrow, Tuesday, April 11, 2023, and this investigation remains ongoing. We have also engaged resources from across CPS and from our partner agencies to ensure that all victims have access to wrap around supports.

We encourage anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault to report it to their local police agency, and want to remind victims that there is no statute of limitations on the reporting of a sexual assault in Canada.

Historically, crimes committed against women working in the sex trade are underreported and we know that not all victims will feel comfortable reporting to police. Anyone who is the victim of sexual assault can also reach out directly to additional resources that are available including through Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse, 211 Alberta, and the Alberta One-Line for Sexual Violence.  

Anyone with information about this case, or who is looking to report a crime, can contact police by calling 403-266-1234. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:

TALK: 1-800-222-8477


APP: P3 Tips

Case #23119367/5278